Sports @ GT Championship

Barry Squibb dominates Sports @ GT field

The final race of the day was for the third of the resident series here at Castle Combe, the Castle Combe Sports @ GT championship. The series is building momentum again this year after it’s removal of the sports prototype cars from the series last year. As the grid lined up for their race, the conditions were getting increasingly worse as the rain continued to fall, the circuit down drenched and very wet.

Barry Squibb was looking likely to take victory barring mechanical problems in his 4 wheel drive Mitsubishi Evo 9 RS, as he lined up on pole. He was alone on the front row as second place starter Ilsa Cox was not able to make the start after her engine overheating issues in the two earlier Classic Thunder races. Perry Waddams and his monstrous TVR Tuscan lined up third, with Dylan Popovic and his unique Avatar sports car completed row two.

At the start it was no surprise for the remaining crowd to see Squibb fully utilize his 4wd traction as he romped away from the field at the line. Perry Waddams bogged down in his TVR, leaving Dylan Popovic giving valiant chase to Squibb in his Marlin. At the end of lap one Squibb’s lead was already huge, as Perry Waddams recovered from his poor start to pass Popovic for 2nd on lap two, quickly building a gap to him. Gary Prebble’s brother Adam Prebble was rising quickly up from 5th on the grid in his Rover Tomcat, passing Popovic for 3rd on lap three.

Even in the early laps Squibb was building a huge advantage over the rest of the now strung out field, although Adam Prebble was now doing his best to close on Waddams for second. The hard charging Prebble paid the price for his exuberance however, as he suffered a high speed spin going up Avon Rise on lap 5, although he was luckily able to re-join still secure in his third place.

After this spin the field was still very much spread out as everyone simply tried their best to remain on track in the treacherous conditions. The remaining laps were played out to a field spread out and conditions that were getting increasingly worse. After ten very wet laps Barry Squibb was able to claim the victory, a whopping 44 seconds clear of Perry Waddams, trailing behind in 2nd in his TVR. Adam Prebble was a further 12 seconds as he completed the podium.

Dylan Popovic came home 4th in his Marlin, with John Avery doubling up after his Saloon race to claim 5th, with James Blake completing the top six in his MG ZR. Although this wasn’t the best advert for the always popular Castle Combe Sports @ GT championship, this is down to the bad conditions and had little to do with the drivers on the grid. The series will hopefully continue to grow this year to the point it was at before when the sports prototypes also made up the grid. For more information on this series please visit their website below.


Castle Combe Sports @ GT MSVR Report 02/08/14

In the penultimate race of the day thanks to the re-scheduled Castle Combe Saloons race was for the Castle Combe Sports and GT championship. Another local favourite with the fans, unfortunately the decision to split the sports racing prototypes and the GT cars into two separate series appears to have severely damaged the championship as both series had staggered through 2014 with low grids.

Usually the Sports and GT Championship has been the more competitive of the two yet their race only drew a season low grid of 5 cars for the start, although peak holiday season probably didn’t help with the entry. After a wet qualifying session it was no surprise to see the two 4wd Mitsubishi Evo’s of Gary Prebble and Barry Squibb sharing the front row, with Nick Holden’s Ariel Atom and Stuart Hignell’s VW Golf completing row 2. From the start ex-rallycross racer Barry Squibb made the best start as Prebble bogged down. The reduction from 15-12 laps didn’t help Prebble’s cause as he spent the first half of the race glued to the back of Squibb’s Mitsubishi as he looked for a way past.

After a valiant defence the slightly faster Evo of Prebble found a way past on the inside at Tower on lap 5, and soon built a lead of several seconds over the ensuing laps as Squibb attempted to stay with local favourite Prebble. By the penultimate lap Prebble had extended his lead to 6 seconds as he came home for yet another victory as he dominates this Sports and GT Championship in 2014. Barry Squibb put past reliability issues behind him to claim 2nd from Nick Holden in a distant 3rd. The Darrian of Phil Gale and the VW Golf of Stuart Hignell completed a lonely the top 5, although both were several laps down on the leaders in what was ultimately a good race despite the lack of a significant grid, which is the only thing this series is missing although in the first year of the series this can be excused slightly. With only one more meeting Prebble looks certain to wrap up the series in October.

For more info on this series please visit the link below